By Associated Press
COLUMBUS -- Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes on Friday night at Nationwide Arena as Phoenix ended a three-game trip with a 0-1-2 record.
Rick Nash also scored, and Tomas Kubalik and Ryan Russell each notched their first NHL goals for the Blue Jackets, who won under Interim Head Coach Todd Richards for the first time.
Adrian Aucoin also scored for Phoenix, which will play eight of its next 10 games at Jobing.com Arena starting with an MLK Day matinee vs. Colorado on Monday at 2 p.m.
Columbus, which led 2-1 after one period, took a two-goal lead by scoring in the first (see KEY MOMENT below) and last two minutes of the second period.
Trailing 3-1, Phoenix cut the lead to a goal when Ekman-Larsson left a drop pass for Vrbata, whose centering pass into a crowd went off the left skate of Korpikoski as he rushed the net.
Blue Jackets goalie Curtis Sanford smothered a redirect by Shane Doan on a Coyotes power play shortly before Brassard pushed the lead to 4-2.
Brassard took the puck and skated in a circle from the short boards near the Blue Jackets bench to the high slot before wristing a hard, high shot past Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera for his sixth of the year.
The Coyotes pulled to 4-3 in the third period when Korpikoski's long stretch pass found Vrbata behind the Columbus defense. Vrbata Skated in all alone on Sanford and scored on a backhander.
Photo by Getty Images
Phoenix's Ray Whitney, a former member of the Blue Jackets, had two scoring chances in the final seconds. First, he took a shot from in close that was deflected by Sanford. He then tried to bank the puck in from behind the net but it went just wide.
An crowd of 14,119 was quieted just 1:49 after the start when Aucoin, who had just crossed the blue line, stepped into a pass from Daymond Langkow on a one-timer and scored his second goal of the year.
But the Blue Jackets (12-26-5) showed some life.
They tied it when Kubalik crashed the net and was rewarded when Aaron Johnson hit him with a backhanded centering pass that he was able to redirect.
Ninety-five seconds later, Nash circled with the puck before his hard wrist shot from near the top of the right circle eluded LaBarbera, who didn't see the puck while Columbus forward Vinny Prospal tangled with a defenseman who was backed up tight to the goalie.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
Leading 2-1, the Blue Jackets gained a comfortable two-goal edge when forward Ryan Russell notched his first NHL goal on a wrap-around at 1:52 of the second period.